Pepperoni garbage bread is an easy game day appetizer recipe that’s made with homemade pizza dough.  Lots of gooey mozzarella and cheddar cheese make this the ultimate cheesy football snack for a crowd.

Prep Time: 50 minutes
person holding a plate of pepperoni garbage bread
Appetizers, Savory Bread

Cheesy Pepperoni Garbage Bread

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Craving a hot comfort food appetizer?  This cheesy pepperoni garbage bread is the answer.  Gooey cheese and pepperoni is wrapped in homemade pizza dough and baked until melty and golden.  Could we ask for more?

closeup of melting cheese in pepperoni garbage bread

What is garbage bread?

Garbage bread is rolled-up pizza or bread dough filled with a variety of ingredients.  It’s a great way to use up leftover ingredients, hence the name “garbage” bread.  The most popular fillings are cheesburger, Philly cheesesteak, and pizza.

How to Roll up Garbage Bread

  • Roll out the dough to a large rectangle and spread the filling on top.
  • Start with the long edge of the rectangle that’s closest to you.
  • Fold over the long edge by about an inch to start the roll.
  • Continue rolling up the garbage bread as tightly as you can.
  • Pinch the seam and ends firmly to keep the filling sealed inside.

person holding a slice of pepperoni garbage bread

At what temperature do you cook garbage bread?

I recommend baking the garbage bread at 400 F.  Hot oven temperatures like this encourage the yeast dough to rise beautifully and brown nicely.

How long do you cook garbage bread?

About 25-30 minutes at 400 F is just right to bake this garbage bread.  The best way to check to see if it’s baked is to use a meat thermometer.  Insert it into the center of the loaf; it should read at least 190 F.

Is garbage bread similar to a stromboli, calzone, or panzerotti?

Garbage bread made with a pizza filling basically a stromboli.  Calzones and panzerotti are shaped more like a turnover.  Calzones are baked in the oven, while panzerotti are usually deep fried.

closeup of cheesy pepperoni garbage bread

How to Reheat Garbage Bread

  • Oven: wrap the loaf in foil and bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes.
  • Microwave: microwave individual slices of garbage bread for 40 seconds on high.
  • Skillet: throw an individual slice of garbage bread into a skillet over medium heat until warm and melty.

Can you freeze garbage bread?

  • Yes, you can freeze garbage bread, before or after baking.
  • Before Baking: let the dough prove the first time, roll it up with the filling, freeze for 10 hours, then wrap in foil and freeze for up to 1 month.  Defrost overnight in the fridge, then let it do its second prove in a warm place before baking.
  • After Baking: let the baked garbage bread cool completely, then cut in slices for convenience if desired.  Place in a freezer zip-top bag and freeze for up to 1 month.  Defrost overnight in the fridge or in the microwave.

person holding a plate of cheesy pepperoni garbage bread

Variations of Garbage Bread

Garbage bread is super flexible–you can make it with almost any filling you would like.  I prefer pizza toppings inside, but here are some other ideas.

  • Cheeseburger: browned hamburger, ketchup, mustard, onions and grated cheddar cheese
  • Philly Cheesesteak: thinly sliced beef steak with sautéed onions and provolone
  • Sloppy Joe: sloppy Joe filling with extra sharp cheddar
  • Loaded Pizza: sausage crumbles, red onion, green pepper, sautéed mushrooms, mozzarella cheese
  • Muffaletta: olive salad, mortadella, sopressata, and sliced provolone
  • Ham and Cheese: sliced honey ham, Dijon mustard, sliced provolone

stack of slices of pepperoni garbage bread

How to Make Cheesy Pepperoni Garbage Bread

Gather the ingredients: bread flour, olive oil, yeast, salt, sugar, and water.

ingredients for homemade pizza dough

Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl.  Stir each one in with your finger.

flour, salt, and yeast in a glass bowl

Stir in the sugar and add the olive oil.

adding olive oil to bowl of flour

Pour in half of the water and stir to form a dough.  Gradually add more water and keep mixing until a somewhat sticky dough has formed.  You may not need all of the water, depending upon the humidity of the room and the brand of flour used.

sticky pizza dough in a bowl before kneading

Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is quite smooth and no longer sticky.  Use the windowpane test to check if the dough is kneaded enough.  (See the recipe card below for an explanation of this technique.)

pizza dough in a glass bowl before rising

Let the dough rise until at least doubled in size, about 1 hour.

risen pizza dough in a glass bowl

While the dough is rising, get the pepperoni and tomato sauce, grate the cheese, and chop up some fresh basil (not pictured).

bowls of cheese, pepperoni, and tomato sauce

Punch down the dough and roll it out to a large rectangle.  Spread the tomato sauce on top, leaving a border of one or two inches.  Sprinkle with black pepper and Italian seasoning if desired.

dough spread with tomato sauce

Sprinkle the grated cheese and chopped basil on top.

dough spread with cheese, basil, and tomato sauce

Top with pepperoni slices.

dough spread with tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni

Roll up from the long edge and pinch the seam and ends to seal.  Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, trimming off the excess paper.

loaf of garbage bread on a cookie sheet

Cover the dough with a clean plastic garbage bag and let it rise until springy to the touch, about 40 minutes.

proved loaf of garbage bread on a cookie sheet

Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes, until the internal temperature of the bread is at least 190 F.  Let it cool for 40 minutes on a wire rack, then slice and serve.

loaf of garbage bread on a wire rack

Pro Tips for Making Garbage Bread

  • Always use bread flour for pizza dough.  All-purpose flour has a lower protein content, which means that the dough won’t rise as high or be as chewy.
  • Add dried herbs to the pizza dough for a twist.  I recommend 1 teaspoon of dried basil and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano.
  • Change up the filling as desired.  Feel free to use up whatever is in your fridge.  Other filling ideas are mushrooms, onions, peppers, sausage, or olives.
  • Pinch the seam and ends tightly.  This will help the filling not to leak out as the loaf bakes.
  • Bake the garbage bread on a rimmed cookie sheet.  The bread can crack as it bakes, causing melted cheese and grease to leak out.  Using a rimmed baking tray keeps the grease from causing an oven fire.
  • Let the garbage bread cool before serving.  Not only will it be too hot to eat when it comes out of the oven, but it also needs time to finish cooking through before slicing.

bag of bread flour, scale, thermometer, cookie sheet, and cutting board

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for Garbage Bread

Looking for more crowd-pleasing appetizers?  These ones will be a hit.

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The pleasure of a 5-star review for this garbage bread would be greatly appreciated.

Print
person holding a plate of pepperoni garbage bread

Cheesy Pepperoni Garbage Bread


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 24 slices 1x

Description

Pepperoni garbage bread is an easy game day appetizer recipe that’s made with homemade pizza dough.  Lots of gooey mozzarella and cheddar cheese make this the ultimate cheesy football snack for a crowd.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Pizza Dough

  • 4 1/4 cups bread flour (500g)
  • 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (10g)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (12g)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml)
  • 1 1/41 1/2 cups warm water (300350 ml)

For the Filling

  • 6 ounces pepperoni (170g)
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated (130g)
  • 1 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (130g)
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce with garlic, basil, and oregano (227g)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper or Italian seasoning, to taste

Instructions

Making the Pizza Dough (25 min + 1 hr proving)

  1. Mix the dry ingredients.  Place the bread flour in a mixing bowl.  Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, then stir each one in with your finger.  Mix in the sugar.
  2. Add the wet ingredients.  Pour in the olive oil and half of the water, then begin to mix with your fingers to form a rough dough.  Keep stirring and crushing the mixture, gradually adding more water as needed, until a somewhat sticky dough has formed.  Make sure all of the flour has been picked up from the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Knead the dough.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is very smooth and no longer leaves a sticky residue on your hands or the work surface.
  4. Check the dough.  Use the windowpane test to see if the dough is sufficiently kneaded.  Break off a lump of dough and stretch it with your fingers until it’s translucent.  It should be able to stretch to translucency without breaking; if it breaks, knead for a minute longer and check again.
  5. Prove the dough.  Pour a little olive oil into a mixing bowl.  Shape the dough into a ball and turn it in the bowl to coat with oil.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough prove in a warm place until at least doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Shaping the Garbage Bread (25 min + 40 min proving)

  1. Prepare the filling.  Grate the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and refrigerate until needed.  Rinse, pat dry, and finely chop a few basil leaves.
  2. Roll out the dough.  Punch down the risen dough to remove the air pockets, then roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 11×17 inches.
  3. Add the filling.  Spread the dough with the tomato sauce, leaving a 1-2 inch border all the way around.  Sprinkle the dough with black pepper, Italian seasoning, and chopped fresh basil.  Scatter the grated cheeses on top, then lay the pepperoni slices on top.
  4. Roll into a log.  Starting from the long side of the rectangle closest to you, begin rolling the dough into a log.  Go slowly and try to keep the roll as tight as possible.  Firmly pinch the seam and ends to seal.
  5. Prove again.  Place the log on a rimmed 11×17-inch cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover with a clean garbage bag and let the dough prove in a warm place until the dough springs back quickly when prodded with a fingertip, about 40 minutes.

Baking & Serving the Garbage Bread (25 min baking + 40 min cooling)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Start the oven about 10 minutes before the bread is done proving.
  2. Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes.  Watch the loaf as it bakes; some of the cheese may leak out of the bread if it cracks in the oven.  Check to see if it’s baked by inserting a thermometer into the center of the loaf; it should read at least 190 F.
  3. Cool, slice, and serve.  Let the garbage bread cool for 40 minutes on a wire cooling rack, then slice and serve plain or with marinara dipping sauce.  Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3-5 days.

Notes

  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this garbage bread would be greatly appreciated.
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Want to see our latest recipes?  Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: bread stuffed with meat and cheese, garbage pizza recipe, garbage bread

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